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Elite Quality Report 2021
Country Scores and Global Rankings
Tomas Casas i Klett, Guido Cozzi (ed.)
The 2021 Elite Quality Index (EQx2021) is a global ranking of countries built on the notion of ‘elite quality’. Elite quality is a macro-level feature of the political economy that measures the value creation aggregate of all elite business models. Elites are dominant coalitions with the strongest capacity for coordination in societies and operate the highest impact business models. Elite business models can either create sustainable value or extract value from others, primarily from non-elites (i.e., through rent-seeking). Value creation activities include innovation, trade or production; value extraction includes barriers, discrimination or monopolies. The higher the value creation of elite business models on aggregate, the higher the quality of the national elite system. The EQx2021 uses data from 107 indicators to establish comparative elite quality rankings for 151 countries. The EQx Country Scores and Global Rankings result from a rich conceptual architecture designed to offer original analysis and interpretation. This edited work includes commentaries on 21 countries (from Austria to the United States) and six discussions of specific phenomena in the political economy (from diversity and inclusion to global trade). The reader will identify two perspectives in these analyses. The first connects the dots and provides a bird’s-eye view of a particular country’s performance weaving specific indicator results into a comprehensive story of a country’s political economy. The second offers a more abstract analytical perspective, highlighting different levels of connectivity between, for example, power, political value and creative destruction and then illustrates the linkages with specific indicators (such as those related to COVID-19). Both the ‘bird’s-eye view’ and the ‘high abstraction’ perspectives provide policy recommendations, unique insights into elites, and glimpses into the futures of a diverse range of countries and regions, both leaders and laggards. Beyond providing rich insights for academia, the EQx2021 also aims to impact business leaders and policymakers to further sustainable value creation. The measurement of each country’s elite quality reflects both the sustainability of their elite business models and the fundamental sustainability of entire societies.